'Ludovic de Beauvoir's 1868 published account of his discovery of Australia during his round-the-world journey provides a fascinating picture of the British colonies of the mid-1800s. This article examines his observations about the Australian colonies within the broader context, taking into account reports in contemporary local newspapers and other sources. Depicted is a young society viewed through the prism of the author's native country, France, and his adopted country, England, and reflects the class and racial divisions, general attitudes and prejudices of the time. These are especially commented upon as he visits each town and its district — from Melbourne to Hobart, then Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane. As an outsider's perspective of the past, 'Australie' contributes to the growing historiography of the country.
De Beauvoir's last book published in 1931 testifies to his life-long admiration for Australia and Australians.' ' (Author's abstract)